Nicole Villalpando

Parenting & homes editor

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in her Raising Austin column and blog, as well as homes improvement, faith, aging and community stories for Austin 360. She is also the editor of Season for Caring, the American-Statesman's annual charity campaign that has raised about $10 million in cash and in-kind goods and services for area nonprofits since it began in 1999. She has been with the American-Statesman since 1999 and lives in Austin with her husband, two kids, two cats and one out-numbered dog.

Latest from Nicole Villalpando

A.D. Stenger home reimagined for modern family in West Lake Hills
 Tom and Amy Brown found a charming West Lake Hills house in 2015 for the next chapter in their family’s life, but the 1961-built home needed an update. The last homeowner had lived there since 1982 and had made some changes, such as adding a wheelchair lift, enclosing a carport and adding carpet in the driveway. “It was very dated...

Posted: 19 hours ago

Tom and Amy Brown found a charming West Lake Hills house in 2015 for the next chapter in their family’s life, but the 1961-built home needed an update. The last homeowner had lived there since 1982 and had made some changes, such as adding a wheelchair lift, enclosing a carport and adding carpet in the driveway. “It was very dated...
One Austin mom shares how quickly a near-drowning can happen
 All summer long, we head to pools, to lakes, to any body of water we can get into with our families to cool off from the heat. But a fun day in the water can turn tragic in just a few minutes. Tina Van Winkle learned firsthand how quickly a child can become submerged in water June 9 while swimming with her son Teddy, 3, her baby Roger and...

Posted: 19 hours ago

All summer long, we head to pools, to lakes, to any body of water we can get into with our families to cool off from the heat. But a fun day in the water can turn tragic in just a few minutes. Tina Van Winkle learned firsthand how quickly a child can become submerged in water June 9 while swimming with her son Teddy, 3, her baby Roger and...
Keep cool this hot weekend with these Austin family events, July 20-22
 I’m not going to lie. This weekend might be unbearable. We’re talking 100+ all three days and not a rain drop in sight. Ick! Plan your weekend fun with the kids accordingly. (Hint: indoors in the heat of the day, plenty of water, sunscreen and bug
            spray!) Here are some fun things to do: Jude Kozakiewicz, 3, paints...

Posted: 2 days ago

I’m not going to lie. This weekend might be unbearable. We’re talking 100+ all three days and not a rain drop in sight. Ick! Plan your weekend fun with the kids accordingly. (Hint: indoors in the heat of the day, plenty of water, sunscreen and bug spray!) Here are some fun things to do: Jude Kozakiewicz, 3, paints...
Dell Children’s becomes 11th hospital in the country to earn highest level for surgery
 Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is the 11th children’s hospital in the country to be verified by the American
            College of Surgeons as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center. It earned the certification by meeting the highest criteria in
            the college’s new Children’s Surgery...

Posted: 2 days ago

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is the 11th children’s hospital in the country to be verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center. It earned the certification by meeting the highest criteria in the college’s new Children’s Surgery...
Should women still use baby powder after Johnson & Johnson lawsuit?
 Last week, a jury in Missouri awarded 22 women $4.7 billion in a case that linked Johnson & Johnson baby powder to asbestos
               and ovarian cancer.  The company announced it would appeal and issued this statement: “Johnson & Johnson remains confident that 
            its products do not contain asbestos ...

Posted: 2 days ago

Last week, a jury in Missouri awarded 22 women $4.7 billion in a case that linked Johnson & Johnson baby powder to asbestos and ovarian cancer.  The company announced it would appeal and issued this statement: “Johnson & Johnson remains confident that  its products do not contain asbestos ...
Can dogs make pregnant women sick like cats can?
 For a long time, we’ve known that cats (specifically their poop) can carry toxoplasmosis, which can infect pregnant women
            and their fetus. It could affect the eyes or the brain of the baby. We’ve been telling pregnant women to have someone else
            in the house deal with the kitty litter. Pregnant women everywhere...

Posted: 3 days ago

For a long time, we’ve known that cats (specifically their poop) can carry toxoplasmosis, which can infect pregnant women and their fetus. It could affect the eyes or the brain of the baby. We’ve been telling pregnant women to have someone else in the house deal with the kitty litter. Pregnant women everywhere...
Why do mosquitoes bite some people and not others?
 They’re back. After a bit of reprieve in June, the mosquitoes seem to have found their way to the backyard again — probably,
            that rain Fourth of July week. So why is it that I can stand in the yard for five minutes and be consumed by mosquitoes like the way my co-workers consume
            a box of doughnuts and my...

Posted: 4 days ago

They’re back. After a bit of reprieve in June, the mosquitoes seem to have found their way to the backyard again — probably, that rain Fourth of July week. So why is it that I can stand in the yard for five minutes and be consumed by mosquitoes like the way my co-workers consume a box of doughnuts and my...
What are kids given opioids for most often? It might surprise you
 What do we really know about opioids and children? Well, we know that the number of kids treated for opioid use in the emergency room has doubled from 2004-2015. Many of those
               were kids age 1 to 4 who had found someone else’s prescription. And, we know that American Academy of Pediatrics is looking at opioid use and the...

Posted: 4 days ago

What do we really know about opioids and children? Well, we know that the number of kids treated for opioid use in the emergency room has doubled from 2004-2015. Many of those were kids age 1 to 4 who had found someone else’s prescription. And, we know that American Academy of Pediatrics is looking at opioid use and the...
See fairies by moonlight, other cool Austin family events, July 15-21
 Events Zilker Botanical Garden
            Woodland Faerie Trail is open now through Aug. 10. The trail is full of homes people have created for the fairies. Woodland Faerie Trail by Moonlight. 8 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday (last entry at 9:30 p.m.). Nighttime admission, $6 adult non-Austin residents, $4 Austin residents, $2 children and...

Posted: 6 days ago

Events Zilker Botanical Garden Woodland Faerie Trail is open now through Aug. 10. The trail is full of homes people have created for the fairies. Woodland Faerie Trail by Moonlight. 8 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday (last entry at 9:30 p.m.). Nighttime admission, $6 adult non-Austin residents, $4 Austin residents, $2 children and...
Hop on the Breast Express at Mothers’ Milk Bank, IBM to learn more about breastfeeding
 The 
            Breast Express is coming to Austin. On Monday, the traveling RV by breast-feeding support app 
            PumpSpotting will be at IBM in North Austin, which PumpSpotting is recognizing for being a supportive company for employees who are lactating. Woman breastfeeding baby. Getty Images RELATED: When nursing moms want to...

Posted: 7 days ago

The Breast Express is coming to Austin. On Monday, the traveling RV by breast-feeding support app PumpSpotting will be at IBM in North Austin, which PumpSpotting is recognizing for being a supportive company for employees who are lactating. Woman breastfeeding baby. Getty Images RELATED: When nursing moms want to...
Can grackles make you sick? Find out what is lurking inside the birds
 Sarah Hamer knows about the icky things that grackles, like all wild birds, can spread. She’s an associate professor of epidemiology and the director at the Schubot Avian Health Center at Texas A&M University. When it comes to grackles, where do you go to study them? Why, you show up with a team of students at your local H-E-B in College...

Posted: 7 days ago

Sarah Hamer knows about the icky things that grackles, like all wild birds, can spread. She’s an associate professor of epidemiology and the director at the Schubot Avian Health Center at Texas A&M University. When it comes to grackles, where do you go to study them? Why, you show up with a team of students at your local H-E-B in College...